Earth  ID: 30977

Nighttime Views of the 2018 Kilauea Eruption

In early May 2018, an eruption on Hawaii's Kilauea volcano began to unfold. Though Kilauea has been erupting continuously from the Pu’u O’o vent since 1983, the eruption took a dangerous turn on May 3, 2018, when new fissures opened in the residential neighborhood of Leilani Estates. During the summer-long eruptive event, other fissures emerged along the East Rift Zone. Lava from vents along the rift zone flowed downslope, reaching the ocean in several areas, and filling in Kapoho Bay.

A Landsat 8 true-color daytime image from March 27, 2018 shows the landscape before the eruption. Then a time series of Landsat 8 nighttime thermal, shortwave infrared, and near infrared imagery shows the progression of the lava flows from May 16 to August 13. The thermal band (in red) reveals not only the very hot lava, but also cooling lava, which is still hotter than background areas. Shortwave infrared (in the blue channel) can image hot lava through clouds and smoke that block the thermal channel. By August 13, no active lava is visible from space, though the recently deposited lava still glows in the thermal bands even through February 12, 2019. Finally, a February 26, 2018 daytime image reveals the new coastline created by the eruption.

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Marit Jentoft-Nilsen: Visualizer
Heather Hanson (GST): Writer
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

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Data Used:
Landsat-8/OLI/Band Combination 2,3,4 also referred to as: True Color
Observed Data
Observed Data
Landsat 8/Band Combination 5, 6, 11 also referred to as: NIR/SWIR/TIR
Note: While we identify the data sets used in these visualizations, we do not store any further details nor the data sets themselves on our site.

GCMD >> Earth Science >> Solid Earth >> Volcanoes
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Solid Earth >> Volcanoes >> Lava
GCMD >> Location >> Hawaii
SVS >> Hyperwall
NASA Science >> Earth
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Human Dimensions >> Natural Hazards >> Volcanic Eruptions

GCMD keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation: Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version